Children are one of life’s great gifts, which is why we like to take this time to offer tips that will help adults keep kids safe as it relates to traffic concerns. Since the summer season is upon us, children will be getting on their bicycles and peddling all over town or just to the local park or around their own neighborhood. So, we’ve compiled a few things that kids need to know about bike safety:
Always Wear a Helmet
Helmets prevent injuries and save lives – that’s a fact. As a parent, it’s imperative you speak to your child about the importance of wearing a helmet for every ride, even though kids might think they look a little…dorky. Kids need to understand that even the smallest head injury can have disastrous results. To alleviate their annoyance with wearing a helmet, try letting your child pick out his or her own helmet. That way, they will be more likely to wear them anywhere they go and not just when you’re looking.
Watch for Cars, Not the Other Way Around
If there’s anything more important than extolling the virtues of wearing a helmet, it’s the fact that the drivers on the street are often careless and/or reckless. While there’s no reason to make your children think that the roadways are a death trap, you should explain to them that drivers have a lot to look out for while operating vehicles and may miss a small bike going past. Because of that, it’s important that kids on bikes watch out for cars. Also, make sure they know that this includes any crosswalks, because many kids assume that this is a “safety zone,” which is not always a sure thing.
Assume That Drivers Don’t See Them
Continuing the tip above, a good rule of thumb is for your kids to assume that the automobile drivers don’t see them. If they’re crossing a street in front of vehicles, they should glance at each driver to make sure the driver notices them. If a driver seems distracted, teach your kids to use extra caution and make sure they are seen before pushing their bike or riding it past the vehicle. Also, kids need to make sure they’re easily visible to drivers, which means they need to wear brightly colored clothing, stick reflective gear on their bike, and avoid being blocked from view by parked vehicles and other obstacles that could impair a driver’s ability to see them.
Remember They Are Not Indestructible
When a kid gets on his or her bicycle, it’s as if they’ve crossed over into another world. The cares of the world are whisked away, and it’s just them, the bike, and the freedom to ride. As a parent, you probably remember that feeling very well. You probably also remember feeling indestructible and testing the limits of speed, jumping ability, and trick riding. While you may have come out of it okay, kids who feel the same way get into accidents every day. Remind your children of the times they have fallen and hurt themselves, that they are not indestructible, and that they need to be careful when riding around traffic because serious injuries can happen.
Use the Proper Signals
Cyclists have hand signals that tell the other drivers what they’re going to do, which improves bike safety. Your children should be aware of these hand signals and use them whenever it’s needed. Of course, for the sake of honesty here, you should know that most kids will likely neglect this part of the lesson, so make sure that everything else is drilled into their heads.
Traffic safety should always be taken seriously to prevent accidents and injuries. If you or a loved one gets into any kind of accident, you’re going to want the best legal advice possible. Mintz Law Firm has the expertise to handle your case the right way. Give us a call for a free case evaluation.